UEFA says that it is dropping its disciplinary case against Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus over their involvement in the controversial European Super League, to comply with a ruling from a Madrid court.
European football’s governing body said late Monday that “the proceedings (are) null and void, as if the proceedings had never been opened”.
It is the latest chapter in an affair that sent shockwaves through football.
The three heavyweight clubs were among 12 “founders” who caused uproar in April with their proposal for the elite breakaway league.
The nine others quickly backed down when fans and other clubs reacted with fury to the initiative, but Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus have refused to buckle.
UEFA, which had been pursuing the three clubs over what it called a potential violation of UEFA’s legal framework, also said that it “will not request payment” from the other nine clubs including English sides Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur.
The Premier League clubs had agreed to pay a combined £22 million as a gesture of “goodwill” over the affair. The other three clubs among the 12 were Atletico Madrid, AC Milan and Inter Milan.
Experts say that the notion of a Super League is by no means dead in the water and Barcelona president Joan Laporta recently warned that the Super League was “still alive”.
He said that the Super League would mean “financial sustainability for the clubs and make for a more attractive competition”.
UEFA on Monday signalled its intention to continue fighting its corner.
“UEFA will continue to take all necessary steps, in strict accordance with national and EU law, in order to defend the interests of UEFA and of all football stakeholders,” it said.